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Abhay Ashtekar

Abhay Ashtekar

Main Content

  • Eberly Professor of Physics

Email: ashtekar [ AT ] gravity [ DOT ] psu [ DOT ] edu
Phone: (814) 863-9601


  1. Ph. D. (Physics) University of Chicago, 1974
  2. Doctor Rerum Naturalium Honoris Causa
  3. - Friedrich-Schiller Universitaet, Jena, Germany, 2005
  4. - Universite de la Mediterranee, Aix-Marseille, France, 2010


Gravitational Physics & Cosmology
  • Theoretical

Honors and Awards

  • First Gravity prize in the annual international competition, awarded by the Gravity Research Foundation, Massachusetts, 1977.
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, 1981-1985.
  • Chancellor's Citation for Academic Excellence, Syracuse University 1987.
  • Elected to the Governing Council of the International Society for General Relativity and Gravitation, 1989-1998.
  • Rufus Putnam Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ohio University, October 1989.
  • Senior Visiting Fellow. British Science and Engineering Research Council, Spring 1991.
  • Distinguished Lectures, Institute for Fundamental Theory, University of Florida, Spring 1992.
  • Wasserstrom Award for Graduate Teaching and Advising, 1992.
  • Distinguished Lectures, Center for Theoretical Physics, University of Maryland, February 1994.
  • 1995 Andrejewski Lectures on Mathematical Physics, Federal Republic of Germany.
  • Elected Honorary Fellow, Indian Academy of Sciences, 1996.
  • Golden Jubilee Visiting Professor, Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, India, August 1997.
  • Distinguished Lecture Series; Mexican Academy of Science, Mexico-US Foundation for Science and UAM, Mexico City, September 1997.
  • Elected Fellow, American Physical Society, 1997.
  • Elected Foreign Fellow, The National Academy of Sciences, India 1997.
  • Chair, Topical Group in Gravitation, of the American Physical Society, 1998.
  • Elected President, American Chapter of the Indian Physics Association (2000-2002).
  • Profile featured in The New York Times Scientists at Work, edited by L. Chang, Foreword by Stephen Jay Gould (McGraw Hill, New York, 2000).
  • Invited Lecture in the symposium "Les Quanta": un Siecle apres Planck" celebrating 100th anniversary of the publication of Planck's paper on black body radiation, at the French Academie des Sciences, Paris 2000.
  • The Centennial Saha Memorial Lecture, Kolkotta, India 2000.
  • Wiegand Lectures, St. Johns College, Santa Fe 2001.
  • Academy Public Lecture, Indian Academy of Science, 2002, 2004.
  • Awarded the senior Forschungspreis by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation 2004.
  • Sir C.V. Raman Chair of the Indian Academy of Sciences (2004-2005).
  • The S. N. Bose Memorial Lecture, Kolkatta, India 2005.
  • The Krammers Chair of Theoretical Physics, University of Utrecht, Spring 2006.
  • Awarded Distinguished Scholar Prize by the American Chapter of Indian Association of Physics, 2007.
  • Elected President, International Society for General Relativity and Gravitation, 2007-2010.
  • Elected Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science, 2008.
  • Lewiner Distinguished Lecture Series, Technion, Israel 2009.
  • Doctor Rerum Naturalium Honoris Causa, Universite de la Mediterranee, Aix-Marseille, France 2010
  • Ireland Distinguished Lectures, University of New Brunswick, Canada 2010

Selected Publications

  1. I. Agullo, A. Ashtekar and W. Nelson, An extension of the quantum theory of cosmological perturbations to the Planck era, Physical Review D (at press); arXiv:1211:1354
  2. A. Ashtekar, Introduction to loop quantum gravity, Pos/QGQG2011-001, edited by F. Hellmann et al; arXiv 1201.4598. 
  3. A. Ashtekar and M. Campiglia, On the Uniqueness of Kinematics of Loop Quantum Cosmology, Class. Quantum Grav. 29, 242001 (2012); arXiv: 1209.4373 
  4. I. Agullo, A. Ashtekar and W. Nelson, A Quantum Gravity Extension of the Inflationary Scenario, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 251301 (2012) ; arXiv: 1209.1609 
  5. A. Ashtekar, Some recent advances in loop quantum cosmology, J. Phys: Conf. Ser. 360, 012001, 1-9 (2012) 
  6. A. Ashtekar, Introduction to loop quantum gravity and cosmology, In; The Proceedings of the Sixth Aegean Summer School, Held at Naxos, Greece, (Ed L. Papantonopoulos, Springer, 2012). 
  7. A Ashtekar, The big bang and the quantum, AIP Conf. Proceedings 1241, 109-121 (2010); arXiv: 1005.5491.
  8. A. Ashtekar, M. Campiglia and A. Henderson, Casting loop quantum cosmology in the spin foam paradigm, Classical and quantum gravity, 27, 135020 (2010); arXiv: 1001.5147.
  9. A. Ashtekar, M. Campiglia and A. Henderson, Path integrals and the WKB approximation in loop quantum cosmology, Physical Review D 82, 124043 1-12 (2010); arXiv:1011.1024.
  10. A. Ashtekar, F. Pretorius and F. Ramazanoglu, Surprises in the evaporation of two dimensional black holes, Physical Review Letters 106, 161303 1-4 (2011); arXiv:1011.6442.

Research Interests

Quantum Gravity:

  • Quantum geometry and its ramifications
  • Black hole entropy
  • Quantum field theory on quantum space-times
  • Quantum cosmology and the very early universe
  • Background independent approach and its relation to low energy physics
  • Potential experimental tests

General Relativity:

  • Mathematical theory of Black holes
  • Isolated horizons and their applications
  • Interface of analytical and numerical relativity
  • Asymptotics
  • Gravitational radiation theory

Other areas:

  • Mathematical aspects of quantum field theory
  • Gauge theories
  • Generalizations of quantum mechanics
  • Geometry and physics